Monday, July 27, 2009

Feeling the Subtle Shifts

"When we practice listening, we become intuitive."

Perhaps evident by my lack of blogging since the first post, I have been a bit busy, a bit caught up, as we all can be from time to time. This project, driving here, planning this, planning that...
yet all throughout this subtle, quiet voice has been gently speaking to me. I can't quite hear it when the din of my mind grows deafening, yet know it is there from those times when I have remembered to take a breath, a pause, and go within. To enter into this moment fully.

And with each breath, this opportunity to do just that renews itself. No matter what has come before, how hectic, no matter what is coming, how important, whatever's pending. Again and again we have the gift and the ability to practice listening.

So much of this deeper listening comes from letting go. Letting go of our agendas and our to do lists, as well as our self-doubts and criticisms. They will surface again and again, and we must do our best not to let this be an invitation for further criticism, but begin to be a pathway to deeper compassion and respect for the self. As we begin to know ourselves better and recognize our tendencies, we will begin to let go of what is not serving us, and trust in our intuitive abilities more and more, or with a renewed commitment.

I fought with my intuition this past weekend. Finally back in my apartment after a month and a half away, busy with 15 hour days of creative projects, my adrenalin pumping energizer bunny self wanted to keep up that pace. I had an opportunity to drive to see a production I had been involved in, and assist a friend with rehearsals, and see a dear friend who will soon be going through a frightening procedure. I felt a huge sense of responsibility and obligation to go and be with these people I care about and whom I had worked with, yet in the few moments of quiet between my fast paced moves, I kept hearing that I needed to recharge my batteries. I had not been sleeping much, and when I had, it was not fully restful, as my mind bandied back and forth all that I had to do in the coming day. My apartment had been a rehearsal space, and was anything but calm. I had, and have, as many of us do, friends going through serious transitions in different locales, and I was speaking to them on the phone, and channeling them healing. The dregs were beginning to run low.

I discovered, that in many ways I wanted to escape from taking this quiet time, and wondered what the cause of that might be. There was a fun festival going on locally and I "didn't want to miss anything." Yet each time I checked in, practiced listening, I realized I just needed to be home, and quiet, that I needed to recharge. I gently and methodically began cleaning my apartment, and in the feng shui tradition, balancing the energy of my space. As this happened externally, it began to have the same effect internally, and I fell into the deepest sleep I've had in some time at 10:00 that night.

Waking the next morning naturally before 7, I grappled again with the decision as to whether to begin a 7 hour drive, or to just be in the growing peace in my home and self. I meditated for a bit and practiced listening, and heard loud and clear that I should stay here. I worked to let go of any guilt, and called my friends, who of course were understanding and sent them love and support.

Again that morning, I continued my cleaning and clearing, finally able to prepare a meal for myself and a simple cup of tea, noticing my inner tempo gently beginning to slow down, and the voice within ever more audible. I practiced listening all throughout the day, and observed how I felt moment to moment. What a relief to give this gift to myself!

Not surprising then, that as I finally heed this wisdom, I am led back to writing and to sharing.

Right now, find a few quiet moments, free from outside distractions to close your eyes, place your hand on your belly and just listen. Just listen for what you should do next. In the very next moment, that is all. And when you have done that, listen again. When you feel your mind begin to fill, just take a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth, and begin again. Try this for just five minutes a day. Begin to take note, then, of all the times throughout your day, you can very simply "check in" with yourself, and be led from this place.

Namaste all!